What is the role of lab testing in the workup of hyphema?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019
  • Author: David L Nash, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

In African American patients, a sickle cell prep should be ordered if a hyphema is seen because the presence of a hyphema in patients with sickle cell trait or disease can produce significant ocular complications. Sickled red blood cells can more easily obstruct the trabecular meshwork and result in a high IOP, even in the presence of a relatively small hyphema. In addition, ischemic complications of the retina and the optic nerve are greater in patients with sickle cell trait and disease. A hemoglobin electrophoresis is also helpful. It helps distinguish sickle cell trait from disease once the sickle cell prep is positive.

In idiopathic hyphemas in patients with easy bruising, pallor, or complaints of fatigue, hematological evaluation should be considered.


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